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2009 Press Releases
Heart Patients Receive Support From Those Who Have Been There
CLEARWATER, Fla., (July 2, 2009) Patients who undergo heart surgery at Morgan Heart Hospital at Morton Plant Hospital find comfort during their recovery from a group of volunteers who know precisely how they feel and what they are experiencing.

For the past 35 years, Mended Hearts, Chapter 25 has been making hospital visits to Morton Plant Hospital, All of the Mended Hearts volunteers are former heart patients, or are a family member of someone who has received heart surgery.

The volunteers are there to promote a positive recovery. They discuss lifestyle changes, depression, recovery, treatment and offer information on support groups and give other after-care referrals. Mended Hearts volunteers follow up with phone calls after the patient is discharged. “These volunteers are a real asset to the recovery process because they’ve been there, they know the process, and can relate to what these heart patients are going through, and how it will impact them for the rest of their lives,” says Bob Teele, clinical nurse and patient educator, Morton Plant Hospital.

Mended Hearts is currently seeking more volunteers to support the program. For information on becoming a Mended Hearts volunteer, call Phyllis Gerdes at (727) 585-8474.

Mended Hearts is a national nonprofit organization affiliated with the American Heart Association, and has been offering the gift of hope to heart disease patients, their families and caregivers for more than 50 years. Recognized for its role in facilitating a positive patient-care experience, Mended Hearts partners with 460 hospitals and rehabilitation clinics and offers services to heart patients through visiting programs, support group meetings and educational forums. Their mission is to "inspire hope in heart disease patients and their families."
Morton Plant Hospital has been honored with the Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals: Cardiovascular Benchmark for Success award. It is the only heart hospital in the nation to receive this distinction for 10 consecutive years, every year the award has been presented.

Established in 1916, Morton Plant Hospital is a 687-bed facility. Our commitment to improving the health of everyone we serve is reflected in our community partnerships and many honors. Morton Plant is the only hospital in the United States to have been awarded Top 100 Hospital designations by the Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals: National Benchmarks for Success for all 10 years. Morton Plant also has partnered with H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute at the University of South Florida, Tampa to provide research and services for cancer patients. In 2008, the hospital was awarded Magnet Designation for the second time by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the most prestigious national recognition of excellence in nursing care. Morton Plant Hospital is located at 300 Pinellas Street, Clearwater, Fla., (727) 462-7000.